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A Look at the 2021 NFL Offseason Calendar

With the new league year set to kick off on March 17, the 49ers front office will look to begin rebuilding their roster for the 2021 season. Take a look a some key dates and deadlines for the NFL calendar this offseason, including free agency and the draft. Additional offseason dates will be announced at a later time.

February 23: First day for teams to designate Franchise or Transition Players. 

March 1: Deadline for eligible college football players to notify the NFL Player Personnel department of their intent to forgo the 2021 NFL Draft and return to college.

March 9: Deadline for teams to designate Franchise or Transition Players is 1 p.m. PT. 

March 15-17: Legal negotiating window ahead of free agency opens. Teams are permitted to contact and enter contract negotiations with players who become unrestricted free agents on March 17. 

March 17:

  • 2021 NFL league year, trading period and free agency opens at 1 p.m. PT.
  • Teams can sign new free agents and prior trades become official.
  • Teams must exercise all 2021 options on players who have options clauses in their 2020 contracts.
  • Teams must submit qualifying offers to restricted free agents and exclusive rights free agents. 
  • All teams must be under the salary cap before 1 p.m. PT.

April 5: Teams with new head coaches can begin offseason workout programs (Jacksonville Jaguars - Urban Meyer, New York Jets - Robert Saleh, Atlanta Falcons - Arthur Smith, Los Angeles Chargers - Brandon Staley, Detroit Lions - Dan Campbell, Philadelphia Eagles - Nick Sirianni, Houston Texans - David Culley). 

April 19: All teams with returning head coaches can begin offseason workout programs. 

April 23: Last day of the restricted free agent signing period. 

April 29 - May 1: 2021 NFL Draft from Cleveland, OH. 

All dates and times are tentative and subject to change.